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2012 NFL Team Preview: Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders had an up and down year in 2011. They lost their team owner, but had glimpses of hope on the field. They overpaid, I mean traded for QB Carson Palmer mid-season, but he filled a need at quarterback. They hope he can lead the passing attack and the team to its first Super Bowl in a decade.

The AFC West has been won by a different team each of the last three seasons. Is it Oakland’s turn to wear the crown? Can Darren McFadden stay healthy for an entire season?

Here is the 2012 NFL team preview of the Oakland Raiders.

2011 Win/Loss Record: 8-8

Key Additions: QB Matt Leinart, CB Shawntae Spencer, LB Phillip Wheeler, DE Dave Tollefson, FB Owen Schmitt, CB Pat Lee, OG Mike Brisiel, TE Tory Humphrey, CB Ron Bartell, OG Tony Bergstrom, LB Miles Burris, DE Jack Crawford, WR Juron Criner and DT Chris Bilukidi.

Key Losses: LB Kamerion Wimbley, WR Louis Murphy, QB Jason Campbell, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, C Samson Satele, CB Lito Sheppard, WR Chaz Schilens, RB Michael Bush, QB Kyle Boller, TE Kevin Boss, RB Rock Cartwright, LB Quentin Groves, OT Stephon Hoyer, CB Stanford Routt and DE Trevor Scott.

Non-Division Schedule: AFC North and NFC South

Fantasy SleeperRB Taiwan Jones – Darren McFadden is coming back from a serious injury. He already has a history of various injuries that forced him to miss games. Oakland signed Mike Goodson from Carolina, but Taiwan Jones is an intriguing player. He was limited in 2011 because Michael Bush was in the way. Bush is now in Chicago and the backup job is open in Oakland.

Team Analysis: Oakland had a surprising offensive attack in 2011. McFadden stayed healthy (for most of the season until injuring his knee), Carson Palmer had flashes of his old self and Darrius Heyward-Bey removed the “bust” tag from himself. Palmer will need to stay healthy and produce like its 2003 if he hopes to get Oakland into the playoffs. Oakland lost both of its backup quarterbacks, so Matt Leinart and Terelle Pryor are on-deck if Palmer can’t do the job…so he needs to stay healthy. He will also need to rely on Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and Heyward-Bey, a very inexperienced group of receivers. On the defensive end, it was a down year for the group last season. Their secondary is still weak and they will need to rely on a pass rush to disrupt the passing game. They will need big years from Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly. I don’t see Oakland having a great season. Denver is improved and I like San Diego much more in 2012. Their non-division schedule is more difficult this season and Oakland is still a few pieces away from contending for the AFC West division.

2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 7.5 (Prediction: UNDER)

2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 6-10

CLICK HERE to read the rest of our 2012 NFL Team Previews


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NFL Week 4: Fantasy Football Sit/Start

My Fantasy Football Sit/Start picks from last week had some nice picks for you last week. I said to start Willis McGahee, Felix Jones, and Maurice Jones-Drew I told you to sit Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich, and every Browns player. I hope everyone took my advice and here are this week’s fantasy football sit/starts for Week 4.

I’m sitting pretty nice in every league that I’m in, but I’m hurting in a league where I lost Frank Gore. I plan on picking up a few reserve running backs this week to fill in holes. This is the first wave of teams with bye weeks, so you need to hit up your waiver wire and pick up some bodies to fill in. I’ll try to help you with this with my fantasy football sit/start for this weekend. Continue reading

NFL Week 2: Fantasy Football Sit/Start

I wanted to wait until Week 2 to do a fantasy football post about who to sit and who to start, because after a draft, you already know who you are going to start. The NFL odds are in my favor this week, with a better understanding of the teams. After one week of play and a handful of injuries, some things have changed and there are a few gems out there that you can pick up on the waiver wire and many in deep leagues, so use your waiver pick-up wisely. Here are some Sit/Starts for Week 2 of the NFL.

These are some picks that people might be on the borderline on whether or not to start them. They are not no-brainers like “Should I start Adrian Peterson?”, if you ask yourself that question, you should just remove yourself from your fantasy football league.


Fred Jackson – With Marshawn Lynch out because of suspension, Jackson is the featured back in Buffalo. He has pass catching ability and Trent Edwards is looking for him. He didn’t impress anyone with his rushing yards, but his receiving yards and touchdown made him a surprise pick. Get this guy if he’s out there on your league, but he may only be great for three more weeks.

Cadillac Williams/Derrick Ward – I like both of these backs against Buffalo. They will each get some action and will most likely be a nice flex option if you have a RB/WR option in your league. Williams is the starter, but Ward is going to put up as many numbers as he did with the Giants last year.

Darren Sproles – LaDanian Tomlinson is injured and he may not practice all week, so expect Sproles to see a lot of action against Baltimore. He may not get many carries, but he should see a lot of dump passes and screen action when the Ravens blitz.

Roy Williams – Tony Romo is looking for him and he’s on fire. An off-season in their offense has helped him and he’s a great option at wide-receiver.

Michael Bush – Darren McFadden looks to be a Reggie Bush-like option in Oakland, since Michael Bush looks like the man for the Raiders. He saw the bulk of the carries and punished San Diego last week. He will run all over Kansas City in Week 2.

Nate Burleson – He’s the #1 receiver in Seattle and saw the most looks from Hasselbeck. Deon Butler was my fantasy sleeper of the year, but he disappointed me last week. Deion Branch and T.J. Houshmandzadeh didn’t impress me and are 2nd and 3rd options in Seattle.

Ray Rice – San Diego is banged up and Oakland ran all over them. I think Rice will have a big game and he’s such a punishing back that he can carry Baltimore in this game.

Dallas Clark – Anthony Gonzalez is out and Indianapolis doesn’t have many receiving options. Dallas Clark will have a big game monday night against Miami. Manning will be looking for him all game.

Jeremy Shockey – Drew Brees will be throwing the ball all game against the Eagles. His wide-receivers have see the most looks of any NFL team, but Shockey is healthy and will be seeing a lot of TDs this year. I like him this week.

Brett Favre – He just handed the ball off all week in Week 1, but he’ll be playing the Lions in Week 2. It’s a good week to test out his arm and he will be airing it out to Bernard Berrian in this game.

Kyle Orton – If you take away the Brandon Stokely miracle catch, Orton had a tough game last week. He faces Cleveland this week and they secondary is very weak and Orton will be able to slice them up.

Marion Barber – Felix Jones has an injury and may not play at all this weekend. He will see almost all of the carries, especially goal line action. Tashard Choice could see some carries, but nothing like Jones would have received.

Pierre Garcon – DEEP LEAGUE START – Anthony Gonzalez is out and Austin Collie is a rookie and hasn’t had as much time in the offense as Garcon. He could be a nice option in a deep league or if you had Anthony Gonzalez and looking for an option better than Amani Toomer or Johnnie Lee Higgins.


Anquan Boldin – He’s still injured, but he’s going to play. I would wait a week or two before he’s in your line-up. There are a few quality WR options on the waiver wire that you should pick up.

Carson Palmer – Green Bay looked amazing against Chicago and they play the Bengals in Week 2. Palmer will be seeing a lot of different coverages and will have a weak game.

Patrick Crayton – I wouldn’t go crazy over him this week. If he’s out there, pick him up, ’cause he could be good later, but Week 1 was a lucky week for him. Roy Williams is going to see a lot of balls and so will Jason Witten, leave Crayton on your bench.

Jay Cutler – This is a no-brainer sit against Pittsburgh. He has no receivers to throw to and he looked really bad against Green Bay. He needs at least two good weeks in a row for me to recommend him.

Matt Forte – He’s not going to catch as many balls as last season and he wasn’t a factor in Green Bay. I know you probably used your #1 pick this year on him, but I like Fred Jackson, who you could pick up, he’ll outscore Forte by double.

Reggie Bush – He barely sniffed the football last week and Mike Bell looked amazing. With a viable option at tight-end, Bush isn’t seeing as many short passes this season.

Joseph Addai – Donald Brown saw much more action last week than expected, so expect Addai’s production to take a hit in 2009. I see Brown taking about 60% of the carries this week against Miami.

Devin Hester – His points last week was swelled up because of a broken coverage touchdown. Pittsburgh will not break any coverage and Hester will be shutdown this week.

Philadelphia Defense – I know they put up a ton of numbers last week, but they are playing New Orleans in Week 2. They will be tested by Drew Brees and their corners will be busy. The Eagles may win the game, but Brees will put up yards, even in a loss.

Joe Flacco – He has a great Week 1, but he faces San Diego and their corners can get interceptions better than any team in the league. Flacco is still young and he’ll make mistakes.

Kevin Smith – Smith had a good game against New Orleans, but Minnesota is in town this weekend and it could get ugly. The Williams twins will stop him and Detroit will have a hard time getting any yards this weekend, on the ground or the air.

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A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.